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Sobotka, Fico praising Czech-Slovak relations

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Lednice, South Moravia, Sept 4 (CTK) – The cooperation of the Czech Republic and Slovakia helps stabilise the atmosphere in the whole Central European region, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico told journalists after a joint meeting of the governments on Monday.

Fico said he hoped the excellent bilateral relations would continue after the October Czech election.

It cannot be relied on their being taken for granted, Fico said.

The Czech and Slovak governments had their fifth joint meeting on Monday.

Fico said the debates of the ministers were intensive and the amount of the accepted conclusions had exceeded the plans.

He said he believed the cooperation would not stop.

“I wish success to everyone in the Czech Republic who will take part in the democratic contest,” Fico said.

“I believe that whatever the government line-up in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the quality of relations will continue,” Fico said.

Fico warned of various “fools and half-fools” who might reopen some sensitive questions in 2018 when the countries will jointly commemorate the anniversaries of Czechoslovakia’s foundation in 1918, the Prague Spring reform movement in 1968 and the division of Czechoslovakia in 1993.

“We have to cultivate our relations, not relying on the good relations being taken for granted,” Fico said.

Sobotka said the joint celebrations next year could strengthen the ties linking the two countries.

In the past four years, the bilateral dialogue helped the Czech Republic and Slovakia build strong positions in the EU and NATO, he added.

“I believe that the coordination will continue in the months and years to come,” Sobotka said.

The cooperation creates preconditions of a stable atmosphere in the whole of Central Europe, he added.

EU security and convergence of the living standards of EU members was also on the agenda of the talks, Sobotka said.

The two countries closely cooperate on the topic of dual quality of food in the EU.

Fico said the Czech Republic and Slovakia would prompt the calling of a summit to debate the dual quality of food and other goods on the European market in Bratislava in October.

Sobotka said at the conference the EC should be provided space to unveil specific measures against the dual quality.

“This is a serious political problem of a dual approach to the citizens of the EU,” Sobotka said.

The goods should have the same quality in eastern countries as in the western ones, he added.

“We do not want to eat and drink any junk, we want the same quality,” Sobotka said.

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